Lost Chronicles II: One World

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 201 - Kingdom of Steel

Zelda Kasuto



Massive buildings tore themselves across the nearby horizon with their bizarre shapes, several of them appearing to be leafless trees rather than construction of mankind. We had crossed over into the border of Cherifia Territory just the other day. It was quite warm, almost as hot as the desert kingdom due to the sun reflecting off the many metallic buildings and into the land. In fact, the majority of the population for this territory consisted of Machine and Android Digimon like Andromon. There weren’t very many Humans, and many of them were mechanics in order to assist the mechanical Digimon with whatever malfunctions they might have.

“This place is like a maze,” Statuedramon said. Around us, Mia, Giselle, Celtinemon, and Reapermon all nodded in agreement. “We’ll have to be careful; none of us have been here before, and there aren’t any cities. It’s like this whole territory is one big city…”

“Thanks to our connection with Omnimon, we were always able to count on Cherifia as an ally, but we’ve still never met the king and queen,” I said. “QueenChessmon and KingChessmon…”

“W-Wait…KingChessmon? Are you sure?” Mia asked. “Hold on…Lizzy told me that she fought against him! Back when we were fighting against Daemon, she fought against him with Eleanora and Sparrow! Is that guy really the king of this place?!”

“Yes…I’ve heard a rumor that the king of Cherifia has been missing for a while; no doubt his alliance with Daemon is to blame,” I said. “Was KingChessmon killed in that battle?”

“No; Lizzy said he just ran away. He was too much of a coward to stay and fight,” Mia said.

“That makes sense; tales of the queen’s valor has spread far and wide throughout the kingdoms,” Reapermon said. “QueenChessmon herself travels just as far to help even total strangers from all kinds of perilous situations.”

“Wow…she sounds just like Lucia!” Giselle said in awe.

“Yeah; except she doesn’t have a violent streak like our Lucy,” Mia sighed. “I’ve heard that she’s as nice and gentle as Larraine!”

“She is; a real hero, that queen. Bold and caring,” Reapermon said sadly.

“Is something wrong, Reapermon?” I asked.

“…You’ll understand when we reach the castle,” Reapermon responded.

“Castle? There is no castle. The queen lives alone in this scrap-heap of iron you see before you.” A tall man, muscular and shirtless, walked up to our group.

“M-May I ask for your name?” I asked. And…did he say the queen lives alone? Everything’s coming together, slowly and steadily… except more slow and less steady. How annoying…

“Yeah. The name’s Craig; part of the Cherifia Royal Army,” the man said, adjusting the violet bandana covering his raven hair. “The queen’s inside right now. Did you have an appointment to see her?”

“We do not, but it is important that we speak with her,” Reapermon said. “We are representatives from the mercenary guild Lachesis.”

“Ah, yeah, I’ve heard of you guys. Honored to finally get to meet you!” Craig exclaimed, sounding excited and coolly casual at the same time as he fiddled around with a wrench in his hands. “Yeah, you guys are almost as famous as our king!”

“And…what of your queen?” I asked.

“Huh? Oh, right, I guess you haven’t heard yet; our brave king has been missing in action for a little while now. Actually, I’m surprised you haven’t heard yet. Big news around here,” Craig said.

Brave…king?! I thought their queen was the fighter! What is going on here?!

“Such a shame; KingChessmon was a real legend around here. Without him, our queen’s been all sad; kinda disheartening, really,” Craig sighed.

“W-Wait…I thought it was the queen who was the brave fighter,” Giselle said.

“Ha! Who’ve you been gossiping with, cutie? The queen’s a coward! I mean, she’s a total sweetheart and all, but a raindrop in a rainstorm could scare QueenChessmon!” Craig laughed. “But anyway, since the king’s gone missing — probably during some heroic battle — QueenChessmon hasn’t exactly been high-spirited, you know?”

“Yes, I can understand that. But, will the queen be willing to visit with us?” I asked.

“Oh, sure; I’ve actually heard her say she’s wanted to meet with you for quite some time now, even before the king’s gone missing. C’mon.” In a swift motion, Craig fastened his wrench to his belt, and began to lead us to the ‘scrap-heap’ he mentioned earlier.

“Wait, just like that?” Celtinemon asked. “No…waiting in line, or protocol, or anything…?”

“Nah; Cherifia is rather laid back, it’s mostly Machine Digimon here, so extra security isn’t necessary,” Craig said, shoving open the large metal doors before him, and were greeted by a small group of Digimon. “…Ah! Speak of the Devimon, here are some of those Machine Digimon! The big blue guy over there? That’s my own partner, Ballistamon!”

“Hey, who’re these guys? Here to see the queen?” the Ballistamon asked. Around him, a MetalMamemon, BishopChessmon, and RookChessmon all glanced up at us.

“That’s the story; mercenaries from Lachesis,” Craig answered.

“…Are you certain of their story?” the BishopChessmon asked. “I’ve heard of their guild, but how certain are you that they are from the mercenary guild? You should exude more caution, Craig.”

“Ah, don’t worry about it; if Craig thinks it’s them, then they probably are the real deal!” Ballistamon added.

“…You two are fools. Without our king, our queen is our kingdom’s last line of defense! Should something befall her, Cherifia will fall into utter chaos!” BishopChessmon yelled. “With Examon away as well, we are all there is to protect our queen!”

“Calm yourself, older brother,” RookChessmon said calmly. “If they have business with our queen, we should let them by. Nothing ill will befall her or Cherifia by simply allowing that.”

“Hmph…I’m surrounded by witless fools,” BishopChessmon sighed, lowering his head.

“Oh, don’t be like that! Just let ‘em see the queen already! If it’s something important, then we’re just delaying them for no good reason!” MetalMamemon said. “Go on! The queen’s right in that room over there! Metal Smirk Bomb!” MetalMamemon pointed his arm at a pair of large metal doors, and blasted them open.

“M-MetalMamemon! Why in the Goddess’s name would you do something like that?!” BishopChessmon asked.

“Don’t worry; those doors are old and worn down. Something like that won’t break them! If anything, I probably fixed ‘em!” MetalMamemon exclaimed.

“That’s not what I meant! The queen is beyond those doors! What if you had hit her?!” BishopChessmon screamed.

“…Just go in. The others will keep arguing for a while,” RookChessmon sighed.

“My knights are arguing again? Whatever could be the problem this time?” A tall Digimon stepped through smoldering doors MetalMamemon had blasted.

“M-My queen! How fare you on this day?” BishopChessmon asked quickly, immediately bowing before the Digimon after he had finished firing an attack at MetalMamemon.

“This is QueenChessmon?” I asked.

“Yup, the one and only,” Craig said. “You wanted to see her? Well, here she is.”

“I heard you speaking from the other room, even before MetalMamemon was kind enough to open the doors,” QueenChessmon said. Her voice was calm and gentle, and the manner with which she carried herself, from her voice to her graceful movements and mannerisms all befitting a queen. “You are from Lachesis, aren’t you?”

“Y-Yes, milady; um…I’m not really sure where to begin,” I said quietly.

“Take your time, my dear; I’m sure there’s plenty of time,” QueenChessmon said gently.

“Well, um, the thing is, we really don’t,” I said. “Have you heard of IceDevimon before? We’re afraid he might be coming after you and the other royals. We wanted to come here before anything bad happened.”

“…IceDevimon? He’s really on his way?” QueenChessmon asked.

“More or less. The truth is, they’re after a specific gemstone that may be in your possession,” Reapermon said.

“A…gemstone? I don’t have anything like that. But, why would the legendary IceDevimon be after something like that?” QueenChessmon asked.

“We aren’t too sure of the details yet, I’m afraid; there’s some kind ancient magic involved with them that IceDevimon is after, and we think all the royals of Celosia Province may have one,” I said. “Emperor Tso Lan had one; he asked that we protect it from his errant brother.”

“A Digimon called Anubismon first alerted us to the presence of the magic within him, and that IceDevimon would soon go after them,” Reapermon added.

“…I see. Well, as I said earlier, I haven’t got any sort of gemstone in my possession,” QueenChessmon. “…There is a possibility that my husband may have had one…”

“Do you mean KingChessmon?” Mia asked.

“Indeed, young lady; as you may have heard, KingChessmon has gone missing after, well, going into battle,” QueenChessmon said unsteadily.

I wonder if she knows about him…If she does, then she may very well have been working for Daemon as well!

“…My lady…Just how much do you really know about your husband?” Reapermon asked. “There is such kindness in your voice…I cannot believe that you would be involved with someone like Daemon.”

“Daemon…? Who might that be?” QueenChessmon asked.

Hm…She seems genuinely unaware of him. I guess she hasn’t heard his name before after all. That’s a relief…

The tall Digimon glanced over at her knights, who had all gone back to arguing amongst themselves the moment their queen started speaking to us. “…Since you are outsiders, you may know this, but…My husband is rather…cowardly. I am often away on missions to help those in need.”

“Yes, that’s what we’ve heard, but we were told the opposite by one of your knights,” I said.

“Indeed…That is the story KingChessmon has been feeding to the public,” QueenChessmon said. “He’s been telling all of our knights and people that he’s the one going around helping others, despite his true, hidden nature. I never really minded; I was never in it for the fame.”

“That sounds about right; Lizzy told me that KingChessmon was really wimpy,” Mia said.

“Yes; this is a rather…accurate way of putting it,” QueenChessmon sighed. “I never knew why he did it, and I never once questioned him. You know…I just don’t know what to make of his extended absence. But, now that you’re telling me IceDevimon may be involved, I’m beginning to understand further. I believe it may be possible that my husband may have one of those gemstones you earlier mentioned.”

“Really?! Are you certain of this?!” Reapermon asked.

“Absolutely not; I only stated it as a possibility,” QueenChessmon said. “Since he’s been gone for so long, I’d write off anything as being possible…even his death.”

“His death…?”

“…You must understand, my dear, that my husband and I were not bound by marriage for the sake of love. Our marriage was arranged for some political stunt by our parents, and we’ve never even had children. Now do you understand why I spend so much time away? I’d rather help people than spend my time with some man who doesn’t love me,” QueenChessmon said quietly. “…I’m sorry…I don’t have any valuable information to offer you, Lachesis. Please, forgive me for failing you…”

“QueenChessmon, you’ve done nothing of the sort. Please, don’t apologize for a lack of information. But, with IceDevimon running on the loose, I must ask that you be careful from here on,” I said.

“Yes…I will. And I wish you luck on your search for the gemstones,” QueenChessmon said.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 202 - Union of the Snake

Flamedramon



Elphierr Territory is the southernmost territory of Celosia Province, the hottest and the closest to the desert province. The people in the bazaar we walked through acted in a similar manner as the desert dwellers, due to their dwellings harsh environments, wearing the same thin and light clothing and avoiding direct sunlight as much as possible. Physically, I felt right at home in such an environment, but any time spent in the desert always brought up bad memories from my past.

“…How is everyone holding up?” I asked. Behind me, Matthew, Elizabeth, and Tamiko all dragged their feet through the sand, all of them drenched in sweat looking beyond exhausted. Coronamon, Quetzalmon, and Kentaurosmon had a similar look of exhaustion in their eyes, but otherwise didn’t look anywhere near as exhausted as their partners. “We can stop to rest for a while if you’d like.”

“N-No…that won’t be…necessary,” Tamiko whispered. Of the six, she was the furthest behind, and was on the verge of collapse.

“My lady, do you need a ride?” Kentaurosmon asked.

“No, I’m…I’m fine,” Tamiko said. Her face seemed both bright red and pale at the same time, and her entire body was drenched in sweat, far more so than the others. “I’m…fine…” Tamiko’s lips mouthed one more word, and then collapsed to the ground.

“TAMIKO!” Kentaurosmon immediately knelt down to his liege, and picked her up gently off of the sand. “My lady…My lady, please wake up!”

“Kentaurosmon, she’ll be fine,” I said. “She just needs to rest. Don’t shake her up too much.”

“Flamedramon…her fever is getting really high, and it’s more than just from the current temperature!” Kentaurosmon exclaimed. “She needs to see a healer immediately!”

“Relax; there are plenty of healers here in Elphierr!” I said. “I’ve heard this happens to people frequently, so there are many doctors ready to aid them.”

“Then let’s hurry and find one! Her fever’s getting worse!” Kentaurosmon snapped. The Mega Digimon gently placed Tamiko on his back, and charged forward through the bazaar in a near-craze.

“…Quetzalmon, place Elizabeth, Coronamon, and Matthew on your back. We’ll need to be quick to chase after him,” I sighed.

“Yes, master,” Quetzalmon said in a surprisingly obedient voice, slithering in between Elizabeth’s legs to carry her on his back.

“…Must you always carry me in such a manner?” Elizabeth asked as Matthew and Coronamon climbed onto the Digimon’s back.

“Yes. I must!” Quetzalmon exclaimed.

“And…why is that?” Elizabeth asked.

“…I don’t know,” Quetzalmon said. “Just go with it, okay?”

“Fine…Just don’t go too far up with your head, understood?”

“Enough talking; we need to catch up with Kentaurosmon,” I said. “Tamiko’s the only thing on his mind every day of the week; he’s likely to do more harm than good for the task at hand.” About a yard away, Kentaurosmon reared up and busted open two large golden doors with his front hooves, and then charged in. “See what I mean…?” I sighed. Quetzalmon and I walked slowly through the doors after him, and into a massive outdoor garden. “…Oh no…This better not be where I think it is…”

“Is this a castle courtyard?” Matthew asked.

“Yeah…and this isn’t just any castle…this is the capital city of Elphierr Territory, so this is where the Queen lives,” I said quietly. “And Kentaurosmon just barged in, unannounced. Yeah, we’re going to get in trouble…” I spotted Kentaurosmon up head, standing completely still. “What’s wrong now?”

“…Let’s just say that you were right about everything you said about me,” Kentaurosmon said. “It looks like I’ve barged into some place that I shouldn’t have. You shouldn’t have followed me…” A massive spear flew through the air and buried itself in the ground just inches away from Kentaurosmon; the dirt around the spear’s tip dissolved and faded away.

“Was that spear…poisoned?” I asked.

“Yesssss…and I was the one who fired it,” a raspy voice said. A large Digimon spiraled around a golden column from the corner of my eye; a pair of vicious jaws rushed past my head, just barely missing me.

“A Sandiramon!” I exclaimed. “Poisonous snakes…”

“Preccccccisely,” the Sandiramon hissed. “By order of our leader, none shall enter thissssss cassssstle! Now, perish!”

“Listen; my partner is having a heat stroke, and I will see that she recovers! Take us to a healer at once!” Kentaurosmon ordered.

“You fool…do you know where it isssssss that you’ve ssssssset foot?” Sandiramon asked. “You won’t live to regret your deccccccison!” A bolt of blue lightning struck the ground before us, and right next to it, a swirl of flames erupted from the ground. “Ahh…welcome back, boysssss!”

“…I see we have some intruders,” a voice emanated from the lightning bolt.

“You’ve been slacking, Sandiramon!” another voice from the flames growled.

Those voices; they sound like Beast Digimon, I thought. Two Digimon, Raidramon and Lynxmon, stepped forward, glaring at Kentaurosmon. Sandiramon slithered his way towards the two, and faced us as well. “You all look pretty confident for being outnumbered.”

“Doessssssn’t matter; we were given our orderssssss, and we fill fulfill them!” Sandiramon hissed.

“We are outnumbered; we are weaker. Still, we shall win!” Lynxmon roared.

“Our conviction to win is greater; therein lies our victory!” Raidramon added.

“Do not count out the power of my conviction! My friend is on the verge of death, and I will find her a healer!” Kentaurosmon bellowed.

“That isssss not our concccccern, intruderssssss!” Sandiramon yelled. “Venom Axe!”

“Thermal Mane!”

“Thunder Blast!” Kentaurosmon held up his shield to block the oncoming attacks, but was pushed back by their force.

“D-Damn it…I will…protect…my partner!” Kentaurosmon shouted.

“Hold on! Fire Rocket!” I jumped headfirst into Lynxmon’s flames, using them to strengthen my own attack before crashing into the beast.

“Freezing Wave!”

“Corona Flame!” The two attacks of Quetzalmon and Coronamon collided with Raidramon’s lightning, pushing back the attack of the other beast. With no other attack holding him back, Kentaurosmon charged forth, picking up Sandiramon’s axe and striking the Exalted Beast with it.

“…Well, that wasn’t so hard,” I said, standing above Lynxmon’s unconscious body. Across the courtyard, the combined efforts of Quetzalmon and Coronamon managed to overpower Raidramon’s attacks, taking out the other beast.

“N…No…we…we failed…ssssssso eassssssily,” Sandiramon whispered. “Who…jussssst who are you? No ordinary banditssssss…”

“We aren’t bandits, you idiot. We are from the mercenary guild Lachesis!” I said firmly.

“…Ah! You…we’ve heard of you,” Sandiramon said. “Ssssssorry…We were vissssited frequently by banditssssss in the recent past…We jussssst thought…”

“You didn’t think, dear Sandiramon. You jumped to conclusions, as you usually do,” a woman’s voice said. A tall woman with long silver hair walked from behind me and over to the large snake.

“Mira…”

“Shh, don’t talk; you need your rest,” the woman said gently, placing her hand on the side of Sandiramon’s face. “Warriors of Lachesis, I ask that you forgive the hasty actions of our Digimon partners. I am Mira, a knight of Elphierr Territory. Please, believe me when I say that my dear Sandiramon is much more mild mannered than you may have seen today.”

“I’ll take your word for it,” I said. “I apologize for Kentaurosmon barging in unannounced, but his own partner is suffering from heatstroke, and we need to find a healer as soon as we can.”

“Oh, the poor thing; I understand,” Mira said. “Come; we’ll bring her inside. Castle Elphierr treats many people with the same ailment. I assure you she will be fine in no time.”
Silvanna



Upon Lucia’s departure, my home seemed even quieter than it normally did. Rather than my usual training, I took the afternoon off to think about the things she and her group had told me. I had read of IceDevimon many times in my time, along with many other demons, in my parent’s expansive library. To think that somebody with such horrifying power was truly walking the earth…

“Silvanna…” I looked out my window, and saw the blue sky of day turn pure white. Excited, I ran outside and saw the massive silver wings of my partner Digimon. “Silvanna…are you home?”

“Valdurmon!” The immense Holy Bird alighted to the ground before me in all her radiant glory. “Valdurmon, what are you doing here?” I asked.

“You know me; I’m a guardian of the sky. I can sense when evil stirs the very air,” Valdurmon said. “I didn’t need to be nearby when Lucia and the others arrived. I know…that evil is approaching…” Valdurmon’s eyes were the saddest that I had ever seen them. The large Digimon completely dwarfed me and my house; even her feathers were close to the size of a mountain. “If you like, I could take you far away from this place…”

“Not going to happen, Valdurmon. I’m not going to turn tail and run away while Lucia, of all people, stands her ground and keeps fighting,” I said. “That girl…she’s always been so pushy. To think, she was next in line to become master of that guild before Flamedramon returned…Or so she claimed in all her letters to me, at least.”

“Silvanna, you know I love to reminisce as much as you do, but…”

“Is there a problem, Valdurmon?” I asked.

“The reason I came to you…my warning to you…You must heed it very soon,” Valdurmon said cryptically. “You were told that IceDevimon is going after the gemstones; this is true, in a sense. But it is much more than him; he has sent many armies to retrieve them.”

“Valdurmon, what are you trying to tell me?” Valdurmon opened her beak to reply, but as soon as she did, a burst of flames erupted from beyond a near hill; what looked like a wave of magma spilled over the edge of it, along with an explosion of flames in the sky.

“Those armies; they’re on their way here at this moment,” Valdurmon said. My heart sank. I looked closer, and saw that the wave of magma was just a massive hoard of Salamandermon, while in the sky, a flock of Birdramon followed along. It was indeed an army; an army of fire. All at once, Valdurmon and I had become completely surrounded, both on the ground and in the air.

“Valdurmon, what are we going to do?” I asked.

“Grab on to my leg, quick!” Valdurmon shrieked. I quickly grabbed Valdurmon’s leg, and my Digimon partner quickly and forcefully thrusted her six shining wings and shot past all of the Birdramon. The Birdramon and Salamandermon all blasted fire towards us, but even with her large size, Valdurmon was able to easily maneuver around all of the fireballs. “Aurora Undulation!” A wave of golden light extended from her wingtips, blasting away all of the Birdramon in a single strike. As Valdurmon flew past, the form of a massive Digimon emerged from the flock of Birdramon.

“A Garudamon…? That one’s huge!” I whispered to myself. “And it has brown feathers, too; this isn’t an ordinary Digimon…”

“The Red Gemstone…hand it over!” the Garudamon roared. “I know you have it, Silvanna!”

“…Come over here and get it, big guy!” I screamed back. “Do your worst!”

“I fully intend to! Wing Blade!”

“Hang on tight, Silvanna! Purge Shine!”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 203 - The Girl with Amber Hair

Flamedramon



“…Mmm …? Oh…where…am I?” Tamiko asked.

“My lady! Are you feeling okay? Are you unharmed?” Kentaurosmon asked hurriedly. “Have you recovered?”

“Y-Yes…? But whatever happened?”

“You passed out; heatstroke, apparently,” I said. “We’ve made it to Elphierr Castle. You’re in their infirmary right now. We’re waiting for an audience with the queen and princess.”

“You don’t have much longer to wait, dear; my brother, Arkis, is speaking with them now about your arrival,” Mira said.

“…Speaking? You mean, done speaking with, little sister,” a new voice said. I turned around, and saw that another man had entered the room, along with another Digimon standing behind him. “Mira, Queen Nagimon is coming over here to visit the bedridden visitor. And you, Flamedramon…”

“Yes…? Do you have something to say?” I asked.

Don’t get so fresh with my little sister!” the man hissed.

“W-What?! What the hell are you talking about?!” I asked.

“Oh, don’t worry about it, Arkis; Mr. Flamedramon isn’t doing anything like that,” Mira said in a calm and cheerful voice. “Besides, he has a wife and son! He’s not chatting me up!”

“…I see. Then, you!” Arkis turned his head and glared at Matthew. “You’d better not get any ideas!”

“N-No sir! My heart belongs to another,” Matthew said nervously.

“Arkis, stop it; nobody here was trying to flirt with me!” Mira exclaimed.

“And I fully intend to keep it that way!” Arkis snapped. Around us, a breeze began to pick up as though we were outdoors.

Did we leave a window open? No, wait — this guy, he’s a wind mage! He’s powerful, too; I can sense it…

“Arkis, calm yourself!” the Digimon standing behind the wind mage barked. “We shall not be seen as antagonistic towards ambassadors of this guild!”

“Y-Yes sir…Sorry, sir,” Arkis whispered.

“…What is your name?” I asked. “You look…kinda like me…”

“My name is Magnamon,” the Digimon said. “The reason I look similar to you is because we are both Armor Digivolutions of the same Digimon.”

“I see…”

“Now, you must calm yourself, Knight Errant Arkis; her majesty Queen Nagimon is on her way to this infirmary. You mustn’t make a scene of yourself, you fool,” Magnamon said. “Always remember, you are a noble knight of Elphierr Territory. Do not disrespect your title!”

“Yes, understood,” Arkis said casually, not even looking Magnamon in the eyes as he spoke.

“If I may ask…what is Queen Nagimon like?” Tamiko whispered in a tired voice. “Is she…a good queen…? I’ve never known…a kind ruler…”

“You must be kidding! Where have you been all of your life?!” Arkis exclaimed.

“Please, excuse her; Tamiko is a princess from the kingdom of Cyllene far to the east,” Kentaurosmon. “Her father and aunt were both cruel to her and her brother; she is still a bit inexperienced in the ways of this continent, I’m afraid.”

“Oh, you poor thing; well, you don’t need to worry. Nagimon is a kind and loving queen; she cares about all of her knights and her subjects as though they were her own children,” Mira said. “Even the princess gets the same treatment; Princess Nora was adopted from a distant relative after both of their families were killed by bandits.”

“Hm…both the princess and the queen had their families wiped out? That’s just sick,” I said. “You wipe out bandits by the army, but still, they just keep coming and coming back…”

“It is one of the few sad truths of this world; a dissident’s creed will enable them survival,” Magnamon sighed.

“Magnamon, dear, I do wish you’d relinquish that grim outlook on life,” a gentle voice said. A female, serpentine Digimon slithered into the room, followed by a small young girl. The Digimon had the upper body of a beautiful woman, but from her waist down, she had the coiling body of a black snake.

“Oh! Queen Nagimon!” Magnamon immediately bowed to the Digimon without hesitation. “How fare you on this day, my queen?”

“Magnamon…I wish you wouldn’t change the subject whenever you feel uncomfortable. You mustn’t be so dire all the time,” Nagimon said. “Isn’t that right, Nora, dear?”

“U-Um…sure,” the small girl whispered. The girl wore a simple white minidress, and had long, golden-amber hair and deep blue eyes. From her manner of speech, she seemed rather shy.

“Now…you are from the mercenary guild Lachesis, are you not?” Nagimon asked, looking directly my way. “Aren’t you their leader, Flamedramon? Oh, our roles are similar! How pleasant!”

“Yes, milady—”

“Oh! There truly is someone in the infirmary!” Nagimon gasped, pushing past me and heading straight for Tamiko. “You poor dear; suffering so much in all this heat…”

“T-Thank you milady, but, I…I’m starting to feel better,” Tamiko said shyly.

“Lotus Elixir.” Nagimon placed her hand over Tamiko’s forehead and a pale magenta light appeared around them both. “Here you go, sweet child. Feel ill no longer, my dear…”

“…Oh! My fever’s vanishing…How did you do this, my lady?” Tamiko asked.

“I’m a healer too, my dear; my Lotus Elixir can heal any illness or injury of whomever I come into contact with,” Nagimon said.

“All healers here revere our queen as a healing goddess; they all strive to emulate her in the healing arts,” Magnamon added.

“…I’m no goddess. I’m just a queen and a mother,” Nagimon sighed. “All of my subjects are like children to me. Whenever my precious babies are harmed, I simply have to act; I cannot rest until I know they’re feeling better.”

Wow…she really is a good queen. Seems that Magnamon wasn’t just fawning over her. I guess I was the lucky one after all, coming here. I’d hate to have gotten stuck going all the way to ice-cold Valneva…No, having to speak to Omnimon would be a major pain as well, I guess, even if we can count on him as an ally.

“Oh…I’m sorry, Flamedramon. I didn’t mean to suddenly ignore you!” Nagimon exclaimed. “Now, why is it that your guild decided to grace us with your presence?”

“Right…Have you heard of IceDevimon before?” I asked. Immediately, Nagimon’s smile faded; her serpentine body twitched slightly at the tail, and she placed an arm around Nora’s tiny shoulders protectively. Around us, Mira, Arkis, and Magnamon had all fallen silent, and were instantly ordered out of the room by their queen.

“…Yes, I have,” Nagimon whispered. “And I met him once.”

“Y-You…you met with that evil bastard?!” I gasped. “How did you survive?! Did…he even notice you…?”

“…It was a few weeks ago. He came to visit me…No, it would be more accurate to say that he came to visit little Nora here,” Nagimon whispered. “…He knew you would all split up and visit the royals of Celicia to locate the gemstones. I just didn’t think you’d visit so soon for that very reason…”

“Why was IceDevimon visiting the princess? He didn’t threaten her, did he?!” I asked.

“No. Quite the opposite,” Nagimon said. “…He invited her back into his army.”

“…He…WHAT?!”

“M-Mother…perhaps I should be the one to tell them this story,” Nora said quietly. “I-I…Well…”

“Are you sure you can do this? You’re so shy around strangers,” Nagimon whispered.

“No…It should be me,” Nora said. “I…used to be a servant of IceDevimon. Not directly, but…Well, I guess a servant of a servant of IceDevimon…? S-Something like that, I think…”

“Your master; what was their name?” I asked.

“I-I…actually don’t know my master’s name; only her army,” Nora said quietly. “The Exquisite Army. That army searches in vain for their lady’s jewel; that one rose-colored stone holds their master’s soul within.”

“The jewels…they hold the souls of IceDevimon’s servants?” Elizabeth asked.

“Yes. There are fourteen of them total; thus, fourteen powerful Digimon, and fourteen powerful armies that serve them. IceDevimon sought me out because he knew that they would be revived soon, which will happen when the jewels are gathered in the same place by one who’s heart is pure malice.”

“Hmm…It sounds like it would be best to keep them all separated,” I said.

“Maybe, but fate has a way of moving back to its original course, live a river,” Nora said. “It would be best to have them destroyed, but that would prove as difficult as destroying the Digimon that lurks within. It may prove better to gather them ourselves and protect them as one rather than divide them and our strength.”

“I suppose…”

“…Regardless, IceDevimon didn’t get what he came here for. Not my loyalty…and not the gemstone I safeguard.” Nora reached into her satchel and pulled out a brilliantly shining yellow gem. “This yellow jewel…it is being hunted for by the Thunder Army. Fortunately, their whereabouts are currently unknown. I was lucky enough to have found this gem in the Savage Prairie, not long before Lady Nagimon adopted me…”

“Right, I’ve been meaning to ask…Lady Nagimon, why—?”

“Why did I adopt one of IceDevimon’s servants? Well, I’ll try to shorten it as much as I can,” Nagimon said, interrupting me. “This is not something that any of our knights know about; I simply told them that Nora is a relative of mine and that her family was killed by bandits. But the truth is, as a part of the Exquisite Army, Nora was tasked with killing the nobles of Elphierr Territory and finding their jewel. And…that’s just what she did. She…killed all of my family. All by herself. My husband, and my two sons. That was five years ago.”

“No…After all that…she became a part of your family?!” I exclaimed. Man, royals sure are weird…

“I could tell right away that she wasn’t evil,” Nagimon whispered gently, running her hands through Nora’s amber hair. “She has a heart filled with purity and innocence. I asked her why she did…what she did. She said it so simply, so sweetly…”

“…I was told they were evil,” Nora said quietly, looking down and away from everyone in the room.

“It’s more than that, dear. Her soul, her very life, was manipulated by those fiends in her army. Her sense of right and wrong was so twisted that she didn’t know which was which any longer. She only wanted to do good with her life, and that’s what she thought she always did while she was with them. I couldn’t help but forgive her. She’s never known what it’s like a family herself, so I gave her one.”

“I’ll never be able to fully forgive myself for what I did on that day…”

…This is the evil of IceDevimon. This is his evil…and we cannot allow it to spread, no matter the cost. “My lady Nagimon; if it would please you, then my comrades and I will stay here and help you to safeguard that gemstone from the forces of IceDevimon.”

“I had a feeling you were going to ask that; and I accept your offer. Since it’s IceDevimon we’re talking about, my own forces will need all the help they can get, no matter how strong they are,” Nagimon said. “Flamedramon, I thank you for aid, and I look forward to working with you further.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 204 - Legions of Ice

Loralyn Syra’an

Lachesis



The guild always seemed quiet and empty when the main forces left on large missions such as these. Right now, Heather, Madelyn, Alphonse, and Wisemon all sat around the lounge with me, all of our thoughts undoubtedly on the same subject. I glanced at Heather and Madelyn, who sat huddled together on a sofa across from a soft chair I sat in. Heather seemed quite calm and confident, but Madelyn looked uncertain as she nestled closer to her mother; Lloyd was her father, after all, and they haven’t reunited for very long, and after the life Madelyn lived in Cyllene, I knew she couldn’t help but fear the worst.

“…I wonder how Mia’s doing,” Alphonse sighed.

“That’s the third time you’ve asked that since lunch, dear,” Heather giggled. “I’m sure she’s doing just fine; her group was heading to Cherifia, the kingdom of steel, remember? They’re the most laid-back kingdom of the lot, so I’m certain she’s in no real danger.”

“Yeah, I know…I just wish I could’ve gone with her,” Alphonse replied.

“It would do us no good to divvy up our fighting force any further than we already have. You and Heather are the only fighters here,” Wisemon said. “I doubt anything will happen, but it still puts me on edge to have this small a defense remaining at our base.”

“Well, it’s like you said, wise-guy; you don’t think anything’s going to happen,” Alphonse said.

“Hmph. Fair enough; I haven’t received any foreboding premonitions for this day,” Wisemon said testily. “For now, I’ll take that as a good sign, but the future is constantly changing, so we should still be careful.”

“Forget about the future! I say we should just worry about now! Worrying about the future can come after we’ve made sure there is one!” Alphonse retorted.

“While there is some logic in your words, saying such things has a tendency to move destiny down its undesired path—”

“Oh, enough about your talk of history and destiny! That’s all you ever talk about!” Alphonse snapped. I sighed, and looked down at the floor, at my feet planted firmly on the cool stone floor; much colder, really, than it normally felt. Heather simply laughed quietly at the ongoing bickering between Alphonse and Wisemon, which had been going on since most of the others had left. I sighed once again, and nearly gasped when I saw my white breath escape past my lips.

Why is it so…cold in here?! Suddenly, I rose to my feet, and glared all around the room.

“Loralyn? Is something wrong, dear?” Heather asked.

“…Both of you, shut the fuck up right now!” I screamed at Alphonse and Wisemon, taking them both by surprise.

“Loralyn, what’s wrong?” Heather whispered.

“We…have visitors,” I replied. “And it isn’t our friends. Can’t you sense it? Can’t you feel how cold it is right now?”

“…Now that you mention it…It is the middle of the afternoon, and it’s still quite chilly,” Wisemon noted. “Loralyn…I can see your breath!”

“I know…They’ve come back,” I said to myself. “…The ones who chased me to this fortress on that day…”

“You were chased? I thought you were simply banished from Lotisea,” Alphonse said.

“No…on my way, I was found and attacked. That was one day before Dominimon and Edmund found me,” I said.

“Well, who found and attacked you? Are they the source of this sudden drop in temperature?” Wisemon asked. As soon as he asked, a field of ice raced across the ground and covered it completely before moving up the walls.

“This…is it. They’ve all found me again,” I whispered.

“Alphonse! With me!” Heather ordered. “Wisemon, keep Madelyn safe!”

“Understood,” the Digimon nodded.

“And you, Loralyn…stay close to me. Tell me whatever you know about these guys,” Heather said, gently grabbing onto my wrist and pulling me closer to her. I nodded and smiled at the older woman, and followed her and Alphonse out of the fortress and into an army of Frigimon.

“…Yeah…it’s them,” I whispered. “I can’t believe they found me; it’s been almost a year…”

“These…? These are the ones who chased you?” Heather asked. “But they’re so cute!”

“Careful, lovely; Frigimon are strong in the cold, and they’re making it colder,” Alphonse replied. The Summoner removed his coat and tossed it over at me, which I gladly put on myself as the air became colder and colder. “I’ll blast ‘em all to snowflakes! Come forth, Tankmon!”

“Oh yeah! Line them all up, and I’ll knock them down in one attack!” the Android Digimon exclaimed the moment he appeared. “Machine Gun Arm!”

“Pathetic.” Only one of the Frigimon, the largest of the pack, stepped forward and held out his large hands. Instantly, Tankmon froze over completely and shattered to pieces. “Princess Loralyn Syra’an…It certainly has been a while.”

“Yes, almost an entire year since the day you found me,” I replied coolly. “And, almost an entire year since the day you lost me.”

“Don’t you dare tempt me, you little bitch,” the Frigimon hissed. “I’ve been ordered to keep you alive until we get what we want from you. And if you don’t put up much of a fuss, we’ll even let you live.”

“…I always knew you would come back for me one day,” I sighed. “You’ve come for my jewel, haven’t you…”

“What?! Loralyn, you have a jewel?!” Alphonse exclaimed.

“I was going to tell you all later. You know…in all honesty, I don’t expect anyone will have very much luck finding these gemstones. I was going to save mine as a surprise when they all returned,” I said, almost laughing at my foolish notions. “These Frigimon…they’re a small portion of an army whose master seeks my gemstone. They found me as soon as I was exiled from Lotisea, but I was able to lose them in the Cursed Woods.”

“And that won’t happen again!” Frigimon snapped. “Now, hand it over!”

“…Never. I will never surrender the Royal Jewel of Lotisea to an army of evil! Especially now that I know all the evil that this jewel contains!” I exclaimed.

“So…It seems that you’ve decided to die,” Frigimon sighed. The Icy Digimon raised an arm, and a hoard of Ikkakumon rose up from snowy ground underneath each of the Frigimon. “Everyone: CHARGE!”

“Come forth, Togemon!” Alphonse held out another talisman, calling up a new Digimon. “Quick! Take them out before they can attack!”

“You got it! Needle Spray!”

“Ikkakumon steeds and Frigimon subordinates! Fire at will!” the large Frigimon ordered. “Subzero Ice Punch!”

“Harpoon Torpedo!” The Frigimon and Ikkakumon fired their attacks before Togemon was able to, and instantly obliterated the Spirit.

“Damn it; they’re defeating Spirits left and right!” Alphonse exclaimed.

“Don’t worry, Loralyn; I’ll protect you!” Heather said. I looked up at the taller blonde. “What’s wrong, dear?”

“I…I kept something from you,” I whispered. “I—”

“Don’t worry about that, dear; you did that with good intentions,” Heather said gently. “Now, stick close. And you, Alphonse; do any of your Spirits use fire attacks?”

“Right; got it covered! Come forth, Cerberusmon!” Alphonse held out his Talisman, but the Digimon he summoned didn’t appear as it normally did.

…What’s going on? Did the Frigimon do something to stop him? I thought. No, they look worried and confused as well…

“Patience, lovely,” Alphonse whispered. The summoner held out his hand, and gasped when I saw that it was empty. “There’s more than one was to call up a Digimon Spirit, you know.” Alphonse snapped his fingers, and like that, the Dark Animal materialized behind the Ikkakumon and Frigimon.

“Emerald Blaze!” Cerberusmon opened his mouth and spewed an endless amount of deep green flames at our enemies. Many of the Frigimon and Ikkakumon were instantly obliterated the moment they were attacked, though to my dismay, the biggest leader managed to survive by abandoning his Ikkakumon steed. The ones that did escape fell into holes crafted by Cerberumon’s Portals of Darkness attack, but again, a few managed to escape, including their leader. Cerberusmon readied another Emerald Blaze attack, but like Togemon and Tankmon before him, he became covered in ice, and was instantly destroyed.

“What?! How did they get Cerberusmon too?!” Alphonse exclaimed.

“That is enough, Frigimon troops,” a large voice bellowed. Immediately, the remaining Frigimon and Ikkakumon stepped back and bowed down to make way for another. The ice-and-snow-covered ground trembled along the footsteps of an approaching giant. “Chief Frigimon…you dare to allow such weaklings get the best of you?!” A massive Digimon ripped through the trees at his soldiers’ backs, flexing his four thick arms while showing off the weapons in each hand, two axes and two hammers.

“…Colonel GlacierKorikkakumon,” the lead Frigimon whispered in a reverent tone of voice.

“Answer my question, Frigimon,” GlacierKorikkakumon said.

“I…I—!”

“SILENCE! Tundra Arrow!” GlacierKorikkakumon slammed his two hammers together, forming a spark that turned to ice and extended into a massive arrow that tore through the lead Frigimon’s chest and immediately killed the Digimon. The few remaining Frigimon and Ikkakumon all looked on in horror as their leader fell and vanished. “Loralyn. I’ll be taking your jewel now. Or…do you need another demonstration of my power?!”

“You stay away from her!” Heather snapped.

“Come forth, MetalSeadramon! Gaiomon!” Alphonse held out two more Digimon Talismans, but before he could summon his Spirits, GlacierKorikkakumon slammed his large foot on the ground, making Alphonse fall to his knees. Alphonse tried to rise back up, but GlacierKorikkakumon lowered one of his axes to the back of the summoner’s neck just close enough to keep him from moving.

“Yes…this ought to do quite nicely,” GlacierKorikkakumon murmured. “Loralyn. The jewel…or the life of your comrade. Which do you wish to keep? The stone…or the head?”

“No…”

“Oh, yes. In the name of my General, the Frost Monarch, I shall take your gem; your happiness; the lives of your friends!” GlacierKorikkakumon bellowed. “I’ll give you one minute to decide. Not much of a decision though; give it to me, and I’ll spare all your lives. Refuse…and I’ll kill your friend, and then take your jewel anyway.”

“No…don’t give it to them!” Alphonse shouted. “If they get it…well, I don’t know what will happen, but it can’t be anything good! Just run!”

“Run all you like, little bard! You cannot escape your destiny to rest in an eternal frozen slumber!” GlacierKorikkakumon said.

“LORALYN! RUN!”

“…No. No, I won’t run,” I whispered. “I…surrender. Here…this is what you sought. The jewel for the Tundra Army…”

“How kind of you, my dear. Here…the center of my palm, if you please.” GlacierKorikkakumon dropped one of his hammers to the ground with a mighty thud that cracked the ice beneath, and held out a hand almost large enough to contain my entire body. Slowly, I reached into my purse and pulled out the turquoise gemstone, and placed it into the monstrous Digimon’s hand. “Very good…this is indeed our master’s jewel. Now…say goodbye to your friend! Plasma Double Tomahawk!”

“NOOO! DON’T DO IT!!!” The axe above Alphonse’s head pulsed with electricity. Alphonse flinched when a single jolt touched the back of his neck, but he remained otherwise very still and composed. GlacierKorikkakumon raised the axe, and then swiftly lowered it. Alphonse took a deep breath in and sighed, muttering something under his breath. “ALPHONSE!!!”

“Flash Bancho Punch!”

“Ulforce Saber!” The forms of two massive Digimon flew past me overhead and collided directly into GlacierKorikkakumon, knocking the massive Beast Digimon over.

“It’s been a while, Alphonse…how have you been?” A small Digimon fluttered over next to the Summoner, helping him to stand.

“M-Marissa! I mean, BioNymphmon!” Alphonse exclaimed.

He’s…been saved…Oh, thank the Goddess…I don’t want any more blood on my hands than there already is…Oh, Alphonse…

“It seems we arrived here just in time,” another voice said. Augustus Maxwell stepped beside me and Heather, with Karatenmon standing on the other side. “You look a little confused; our guild of redemption has a few more additions. Meet BanchoLeomon, one of Zelda’s old Spirits, and UlforceVeedramon, a knight of Cyllene, like myself.”

“You guys certainly like showing up at the last second,” Alphonse said, joining us. “But, you, BanchoLeomon; what do you have to redeem? You were one of Zelda’s spirits; you helped her defeat Darkdramon, remember?”

“And that is precisely why I seek redemption. He was a close friend of mine, in the past,” BanchoLeomon said. “I…dealt the killing blow to him. I can only hope that his soul can achieve peace in the afterlife, but until then, I can only walk down this solitary path.”

“This is the only path for deserters,” UlforceVeedramon added. “We who broke our oaths of loyalty can only seek to atone for our misguided pasts. Hmph…and just imagine, my old superior August being one of them…once again, my superior.”

“No. There are no superiors in this guild of sorts that I have constructed,” Augustus said. “We fight together as one to vanquish the darkness! Come forth, BlackWarGreymon! Beelzemon! Premenitmon!”

“Let’s do this! Come forth, MetalSeadramon! Gaiomon!” Five Digimon Spirits materialized before us all, standing alongside UlforceVeedramon, BanchoLeomon, Karatenmon, and BioNymphmon. The nine Digimon stared down GlacierKorikkakumon and the remaining Frigimon and Ikkakumon.

“Everyone, charge!” Augustus bellowed.

“Terra Destroyer!”

“Double Impact!”

“Golden Ankh!”

“River of Power!”

“Gaia Reactor!”

“The Ray of Victory!”

“Flash Bancho Punch!”

“Feather Flare!”

“Lunar Blast!” The attacks of the nine Digimon all reached GlacierKorikkakumon at the same time, but at once, they all came to a halt.

“…What happened? Did they cancel each other out?” I asked.

“No…He’s doing something,” Augustus whispered. “Look!” I gazed at the massive Digimon, and gasped when I saw his four arms held out in front of him. Hovering in the air between his hands was the gemstone I had given him.

“Oh no…”

“Hmph. If you had known how to tap into the dark power of this jewel, it could’ve been a formidable weapon for you, Loralyn,” GlacierKorikkakumon said. “Fortunately for us…you’re too pure to do something like that.” GlacierKorikkakumon slammed his four hands together on the jewel; the attacks of the Digimon that he had halted froze over, and shattered. I looked down, and saw that my feet began to ice over. I glanced over my shoulder, and saw that Heather, Alphonse, and Augustus had completely frozen over. The five Digimon Spirits vanished immediately, and the remaining Digimon were also encased in ice. Only I remained.

“No…w-what…happened?” I asked. The ice stopped climbing one rising halfway up my belly, leaving me completely immobilized. My entire body quaked from the cold, but there wasn’t much I could do.

“…Our work here is done,” GlacierKorikkakumon said. “And you, Loralyn…thanks for all your help. Really couldn’t have done all this if you didn’t hand me my master’s jewel. As my thanks…I will keep my word and spare you and your friends, at least on this day. Until we meet again in battle, my dear…”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 205 - Lost in the Ice and Darkness

Eleanora Kasuto



Even through my boots, the slush and ice that covered the ground of the entire Valneva Territory had my feet completely numb to the point where I couldn’t even move my toes. I looked ahead of me at Abigail, who seemed to be completely unaffected by the subzero temperatures, despite being almost as inappropriately dressed for the cold as I was. At my side, AeroVeedramon trudged through the snow on all fours with Bokomon, Neemon, and Lunamon riding on his back.

“How much longer until we arrive at the castle?” AeroVeedramon asked. “I’ve missed, like, five naps since waking up this morning…”

“We’re almost there, dear,” Abigail said in a gentle voice. “We’re definitely going north. Do you see the blizzard up ahead? Once we enter that, we’ll be only a few minutes from Valneva Castle.”

Oh, great; it’s going to get even colder than it already is! I should’ve known better than to dress so lightly in this damn tundra…

“Ellie, dear, are you okay?” Abigail asked. “You can stand closer to me if you’re starting to feel cold.”

“I wish you told me that sooner,” I said through clattering teeth, instantly stepping closer to the Bio Hybrid. Immediately, she pulled me closer to her body, and I was quickly warmed as she placed her arms around my shoulders, and wrapped me around her cape. “I can understand why the Digimon are fine, but why aren’t you cold?”

“It’s probably because I’m a Bio Hybrid,” Abigail said plainly.

“But I—” I bit my tongue to keep from talking. No. I can’t let them know yet. I can’t tell them that I’m a Bio Hybrid Yukinamon; the power to slay IceDevimon in secret. And I will fulfil my promise to her; she gave me her power, it’s the least I could do for her…

“…Yes? You were saying?” Abigail asked.

“U-Um…Nothing. Never mind.” I slipped my arm around Abigail’s waist to better feel the warmth of her body. As we came closer and closer to the raging blizzard, its roar became deafening, and its chill utterly numbing.

“Stay close, AeroVeedramon; if we get lost, it could be forever,” Abigail said to the mighty dragon.

“Yeah…so long as I don’t fall asleep, I’ll be fine,” AeroVeedramon yawned. I could almost hear Lunamon and Bokomon groan over the howling wind.

“…It’s no use. Even with your body heat, Abigail, it’s still incredibly cold!” I breathed in deeply, and sighed, watching my breath escape past my near-blue lips. “My legs are trembling…”

“…Ellie…I think there’s another reason for that,” Abigail whispered. “The entire ground is shaking…”

“Ah, jeez, what now?” AeroVeedramon sighed. “My nose is picking up one nasty-ass stench…” A loud whistling echoed in the air, and a massive explosion shook the ground more violently than ever, nearly knocking the three Rookie Digimon off of AeroVeedramon’s back. “Fuck; it smells like a Mammothmon. This isn’t good…” The ground began to shake more and more violently, and the form of a massive Digimon began to take shape in the blizzard; as AeroVeedramon suspected, it was indeed a very large, white-haired Mammothmon.

“…What we gots here, eh?” A deep voice asked.

“Was that…the Mammothmon?” I asked.

“What? I’s be lookin’ likes a Mammothmons to you’s?” the voice asked again. The Mammothmon lowered its head, and I could at once the form of a large man jumping down. “I aint’s a no Mammothmons. I’s be called Vandrik! I ain’t no Digimon’s!” The man lumbered towards us; in the winds of the blizzard, he almost looked like a small Vikemon.

“Who are you?” Abigail asked.

“What, you’s being deaf? I just tell’d you, my names be Vandrik!” the man shouted. “…Oh, that’s not what you’s meaning, huh? You wanna know what I do’s, huh?”

“Y-Yes. Exactly…”

“Ah, I gets it now! Well, I’s bein’ a knights of—”

“You don’t need to know who we are!” Mammothmon bellowed. “Sometimes, it is better to keep the enemy in the darkness of the unknown!”

“Too late; I already heard what he said!” I retorted. “You’re knights of Valneva, aren’t you? In that case, we’ve been looking for you!”

“Ah! We don’ts be go talkin’ to bandits!” Vandrik yelled.

“What?! No, we’re not bandits!” I exclaimed. “We’re from—”

“You’re from Thanatos, aren’t you?! Confess, sinners!” Mammothmon shouted.

“No! We’re mercenaries from Lachesis!” Abigail said.

“Aye, it be’s just like a bandits to claim to being from a mercenary guilds,” Vandrik said. “Mammothmon, you’s be getting them now!”

“Right! Freezing Breath!”

“V-Breath Arrow!” A thin arrow of flames collided with Mammothmon’s attack, burning it into a thick steam. AeroVeedramon stepped forward, shaking the three Rookie Digimon off of his back. “Damn it all…I’m sick of nobody believing me. People think I’m weak ‘cause I sleep all damn day. You guys all think we’re bandits ‘cause you’ve never seen us before in your miserable lives. Well, I’m not going to just sit here and get lectured by some grammatically-challenged troglodyte! V-Wing Blade!”

“Tusk Crusher!” Once more, the attacks of AeroVeedramon and Mammothmon collided and created a massive explosion in the air, sending ice and flames flying in every direction.

“Magnum Crusher!” AeroVeedramon flew through the steam and slammed his claws onto Mammothmon’s face, sending the Ancient Beast toppling over to the ground. “That…is real strength. Fighting for what you believe in; not against some nameless evil you aren’t even certain that exists!”

“What’s is this?! You’s defeated Mammothmons?!” Vandrik exclaimed. “…Fine, then! You’s and me’s are going at it then, nows!”

“…No…I…I order you to…stand down, Vandrik…” It was a small voice that spoke over the roar of the blizzard, but I could hear it clearly; a young woman, an owner of a shy and dainty voice. A Garurumon trudged through the snow next to Mammothmon, carrying a Human, the one who spoke to Vandrik, on his back.

“Ah, you’s be coming at a good times, wee ones!” Vandrik said. “You’s ready to die, banditses?!” The Garurumon lowered himself to the icy ground, and the woman on his back slid off gently.

“…You…are the ones that Vandrik and Mammothmon were…f-fighting with?” she asked.

“Who are you? Are you a knight, too?” I asked.

“……I am…Ilora…a mage……I was….trained by the best…..”

“You’s in troubles now, banditses!” Vandrik said. “The wee ones here be the best mages you’s ever sees!”

“Y-Yes…I…” Ilora brought her hands to her chest, and lowered her face to conceal her blushing cheeks. “I-I…I won’t…let you leave this place…not alive…if you plan on terrorizing our land any further…”

“Listen to me! We aren’t bandits! We’re—!”

“Ah, don’t listen to thems, wee ones,” Vandrik said. “They be’s bandits too, yeah? Let’s gut them’s like pigses!”

“N-No…I…don’t want to see any blood,” Ilora whispered. “Let’s…do this my way…okay?”

“Fine…Just makes it quicks, you’s got it?”

“Hmph; don’t we get any say in this?” Abigail asked. And that was the last thing before her entire body froze completely over. I instinctively reached for my sword, but when Ilora raised her arm in the air, the same fate befell me.

~~~

Slowly , my eyes opened, and I looked around. Directly in front of me was a row of thick iron bars; a prison cell. I sighed, and looked at my friends. All of them were alive and breathing, but remained unconscious. I rose to my feet, and was shocked to see that I wasn’t wearing handcuffs, or any kind of chains, but more surprised that the ground beneath my feet was actually quite warm and cozy.

“No wonder everyone else is still asleep,” I whispered. Indeed, even the air was quite warm; not hot, not cold, but right in the middle, even though it seemed that the grey walls were covered in ice. “Curiouser and curiouser…”

“Whoa…someone else here?” another voice, this one belonging to a woman, asked, the suddenness of which nearly made me jump out of my skin. I looked to the far corner of the cell, and saw the form of another person.

“…Who’s there?” I asked. The voice sounded familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it.

“Think that’s my line. But, now that I see you…Ooh, I’m liking what I do see. Been a while, El. Like what you did with the shirt — taking it off, and all. Niiiiice; curves like those should be shown for the whole world to admire.” The woman stepped out of the shadows; my mouth hung agape, and I glared at who approached me. “I was never that lucky; never had curves, breasts never grew much. You got it good, El; the perfect package of beauty and sexy.”

“LIRA!”
Lan Fan

Shendu Territory



Less than twenty minutes have passed since the departure of Lucia and the other members of Lachesis. In that time, I had hung on tightly to my father’s arm after dozing off. My father reached over and gently stroked my hair every now and then. He was always like that; stern and almost coldhearted at one moment, and calm and loving the next. A few might be confused by my constant attachment to such a man, even if that man was my father; but, it was because he was my father that I couldn’t help but forgive and continue to love him. After my mother died, we were all each other had…

“YOUR MAJESTY! EMPEROR TSO LAN!” One of my father’s knights, a young man named Tristan, rushed into the throne room with a severely troubled look on his face.

“What is the problem, Sergeant?” my father asked, instantly alerted.

“We’re being invaded! There’s an army of—!” Before Tristan could finish, a massive claw swung through the air and raked the knight’s head cleanly off. I gasped and grabbed on to my father’s arm as a large MetalGarurumon walked into the room.

“The Lunar Prince, Emperor Tso Lan; you are hereby decreed by the Eclipse Army to relinquish the Royal Gemstone of Shendu Territory,” the MetalGarurumon growled.

“Well, get in line; you aren’t the first to ask for that, even today!” Tso Lan barked. “Now, leave before my own army dispatches yours!”

“I wouldn’t worry about them if I were you; you have only yourself and your precious daughter to worry about!” another MetalGarurumon walked into the room behind the first, and was followed by several others. “We even made sure not to kill a single one of them. Dead hostages have no value, neither to the enemy, or their king!”

“If you’ve taken no further lives, then I advise you all to leave now; you are guilty only for intruding upon the emperor’s throne room and the death of a single knight. If you go now, then we won’t pursue you!”

“You are in no position to be making threats, Emperor; see that red dot on your little girl’s chest?” My heart immediately quickened as I looked down and saw a red laser pointed directly at my heart. “If you don’t want the princess blown to pieces, then don’t provoke our sniper. We MetalGarurumon are better snipers than you Humans give us credit for!” Tso Lan placed a firm hand over my shoulder, “The choice is yours. The gem…or your lives. Choose wisely, Emperor.”

“…F-Father…” My stomach was in knots, and my mouth went dry; I knew my father would never give away the gem under any circumstance, even at the cost of his daughter.

“N-No…I…”

“You have ten seconds to decide. Otherwise, we will kill you all and take the gem by force!”

“O-Okay! Fine, it’s yours…Just spare my daughter, please…” A single tear fell down the side of my father’s face as he reached into a secret compartment in the side of the throne, and retrieved the grey-colored jewel.

Is that tear for me, or the jewel? I couldn’t help but wonder as he held out the jewel. The MetalGarurumon stepped forward, and briefly gave the gem a sniff.

“…You…dare to deceive us by handing us a fake!? That pitiful stone doesn’t hold the essence of our master!” the MetalGarurumon roared.

“I—I don’t understand! That stone…How is that not the real one?!” Tso Lan asked. “S-Surely you jest…This is the real gemstone!”

“You lost your daughter over a pathetic gamble! Now pay the price! Ice Wolf Claw!”

“NO!!! GET DOWN!” My father shoved me down to the floor just in time to protect me from the attack. I looked back at him just as it happened. Blades of ice launched by the MetalGarurumon pierced his body over and over again; eight went through his chest, and one clear through his forehead. His splattered blood hit my face the moment his lifeless body hit the floor.

“FATHER!!!!”

“You…Do you know where the real gemstone is?” MetalGarurumon asked. I remained silent, saved for the choked sobs and wailing over my father. “Fine; remain silent. Then you will join your father in death! Metal Wolf Claw!” There was a flash of pale blue, and then a flash of deep violet. The blast of ice from MetalGarurumon’s snout diverted just inches from me and my father’s body. Standing before me was a massive suit of armor. “Y-You! Colonel Generalmon!” The Digimon before me said nothing. “You’ve been revived!”

“…W-Who…are you?” I asked in between sobs.

“Hah! You’re in trouble now, princess! Generalmon is the sub-commander of the Eclipse Army, and was also a member of the Order of the Enchantress! He answers directly to our master!” MetalGarurumon exclaimed happily. “Now, hand over the—!”

“Dæmon Lux Lunae!” Generalmon held out his hand and fired a beam of radiant violet light, instantly obliterating the MetalGarurumon, along with two others behind him. The remaining Digimon stepped back in fear and alarm.

“W-What is the meaning of this, Colonel?” one of the MetalGarurumon asked.

“…So long I was bathed in darkness…So long, that I even began to forget her face…Celina,” Generalmon whispered. “Pure of heart, and noble of intentions…My descent into darkness began when I lost her, and she lost her life to the Games. It was where this city stands now…and by the decree of a handful of corrupt nobles, she was forced into that twisted arena. I swore an oath; an oath of darkness in order to attain the power to avenge her. Seven-hundred years ago, I thought I had done just that; I destroyed this entire city, and killed thousands, in but a single day. But still, I…I felt so empty.” Generalmon clenched his fist, and placed it over his chest, over his heart. “I didn’t know why…but now I do. Celina Rosalina…Deep in my subconscious, I knew she would never approved of the evil that had then filled my heart. I didn’t realize it until long after I was killed by Seraphimon…and I was reborn, back as Generalmon. And that was when I knew what I had to do.” Generalmon pointed at the number of MetalGarurumon standing before him. “I will destroy the Luna Diviner I once served! I shall protect the memory of the woman I loved!”

“TRAITOR! Metal Wolf Claw!”

“Dæmon Icircumflex!” Generalmon brandished his massive axe, deflecting the beams of ice fired by the MetalGarurumon. One by one, he swung and attacked the Android Digimon, killing them all with a single stroke of his axe until none were left.

“…G-Generalmon,” I whispered. “I…I—”

“You don’t need to say anything, my princess,” Generalmon said. The massive Digimon walked up to me and knelt down, placing a hand on top of my head. He was large, and looked intimidating, but he spoke so softly and gently. “I…apologize…not just for what I have done in the past, but…I couldn’t make it in time…to save your father…”

“…Oh, Generalmon!” I lost myself in another bout of tears and wailing, clinging onto the Digimon before me.

“I’m sorry…I’m so sorry,” Generalmon whispered. “But this, I do swear; I will protect you from now on. You…and your kingdom, and all you hold dear in your heart.”
Duke Tchang Zu



“Heh …I can’t believe it was as easy as that,” I whispered, clutching the true Gemstone of Shendu Territory in my hand. My remaining stump of a right arm tingled with phantom excitement as I gazed upon the jewel.

“My Lord; do you not think that your brother will notice a difference between the real and fake jewels?” my aid and general, Dai Gui, asked.

“Nah; he may be obsessed, but he never did pay attention to the little details,” I replied. I looked up; my own castle, small, dark, and dreary, was now before us. “Let’s put this little beauty in MY throne room, where it belongs!”

“Not so fast.” My heart skipped a beat at the suddenness of the new voice. Dai Gui and I both turned around, and were faced with a large pack of MetalGarurumon.

“…C-Can I…help you?” I asked quietly.

“Hand over that gemstone,” one of the MetalGarurumon asked. “If you do not, then you shall suffer the consequences!”

“No way; I finally managed to steal — er, retrieve — this from my brother, and I’m not going to give it to a pack of crazed Digimon!” I yelled.

“Suit yourself. Ice Wolf Claw!”

“My lord; get down!” Dai Gui jumped in front of me, but by that time, I had already turned around to flee. I heard my general scream in pure agony, and when I looked over my shoulder, he was already dead on the ground.

“N-No! I can’t die! I’m supposed to be Emperor! Emperor of all Shendu Territory!” I screamed. A single MetalGarurumon leapt over me, and landed in front of me.

“Then this land has lost two Emperors on this day. Metal Wolf Claw!”
 
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